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How long do tyres last?

How long do tyres last?

How long do tyres last?

When you’re looking for a set of replacement tyres there are a lot of things to consider, and one of the most common questions customers ask is: how long do tyres last? While this is a fair question to ask, unfortunately there is no definitive answer.

The quality of the tyre does of course make a difference, but how long a tyre is likely to last depends on a lot of other factors as well, particularly your driving style.

Getting the most out of your tyres is about careful driving, proper maintenance and making the right choices when selecting a replacement tyres. On this page, we will consider the factors that impact tyre tread wear before looking at the average miles per tyre and the difference between budget, mid, and premium tyres.

Tread wear

Tread is the term used to refer to the rubber on the tyre’s circumference that makes contact with the road. Over time, as the tyres are used, the tread is slowly worn away, reducing how effective the tyre is at providing traction to the road.

Although this process is a natural part of the life cycle of any tyre, there are various factors that can quicken this process.

Firstly, the type of vehicle you own will have an impact on tread wear. If you have a heavier vehicle, then the tyres will wear faster than with lighter cars. While all front tyres wear out quicker than the back tyres, if your car is a front wheel drive, the movement of the tyres through steering will contribute to faster tread wear as well.

The type of tyre you choose is also important, as different products are designed and manufactured to meet specific requirements. A long-life tyre, for instance, is likely to be noisier as it is made from a harder rubber compound. Tyres designed for comfort are softer, and therefore wear faster.

In addition to the type of car you own and the specific tyres you choose, tread wear can be artificially increased by your driving style. Driving at high speeds increases the temperature of your tyres, which accelerates how quickly they wear.

If you are prone to aggressive cornering, or excessive accelerating and braking, this will also cause greater tyre wear, contributing to a shorter life cycle for your tyres.

Maintaining your tyres

To ensure you are getting the most for you money, you should try to properly maintain your tyres over their life. Fortunately, this is easy to do - and is not just about reducing speeds and driving more carefully (although this will certainly help).

You should also check your tyre pressure regularly, as tread wear is greatly increased when tyres are either over-inflated or under-inflated.

Tyres can become under-inflated if they are not checked regularly, as air slowly seeps out of them over time. Driving on under-inflated tyres causes excessive wear on the inside and outside edges, which will shorten the life of your tyres.

Similarly, driving on over-inflated tyres causes a smaller part of the tyre to make contact with the road, leading to excessive wear in the centre of the tyre.

You can stop over-inflation and under-inflation easily by checking your tyre pressure at least once or month, and before long journeys. Use our guide on tyre pressure for more advice on how to find and maintain the right tyre pressure for your car.

As well as tyre pressure, incorrect alignment of car tyres can also cause uneven wear, which can be avoided by ensuring they are fitted professionally. If you maintain your tyres through regular checks and careful driving, you will ensure that they don’t wear out too quickly or unevenly.

Average miles per tyre

Due to the various factors discussed in the previous sections, it is very difficult to provide an average amount of miles you can expect a replacement tyre to cover in its life time. Driving style alone can have a huge impact on average tyre mileage.

According to the RAC, while it isn’t possible to find an exact figure on the shelf life of a tyre, you should expect front tyres to last around 20,000 miles and back tyres for 40,000 miles. These figures, however, vary substantially when taking into account the numerous factors discussed above.

The average miles per tyre also differs depending on the quality of the tyre, and this isn’t as simple as price. Tyres are generally divided into three categories: budget, mid-range, and premium.

Premium tyres are more expensive for a number of reasons. While they are generally made from better materials and using higher quality processes, premium tyres are also designed for a specific purpose, such as driving under race conditions or on particular surfaces.

If a tyre is built for a specific purpose, it is unlikely to be as durable over a prolonged period of time, particularly for standard driving. Mid-range tyres are generally considered as a good compromise, as they are often built for day-to-day driving, meaning you should be able to expect a good miles per tyre return.

This isn’t to say that budget tyres are a bad choice. Like the premium price class, budget tyres are built for a specific purpose - namely standard day-to-day driving. If you use your car for the school run and the weekly shop, then a budget tyre is a good choice.

How long a tyre lasts depends on several factors, and when it comes to selecting replacement tyres, you need to consider your needs as a driver, as well as how many miles you are likely to cover in order to get the most out of your tyres.

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FUEL EFFICIENCY fuel cert

Ratings from A-G
A = Best Fuel Economy

WET GRIP wet grip

Ratings from A-G
A = Best wet weather
performance

NOISE LEVEL noise level

The lower the decibel,
the quieter the tyre